Spousal Support

What is Spousal Support?

Generally speaking, spouses have a duty to support one another during marriage and after separation.

During a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties, the court may order either spouse to pay any amount necessary for the support of the other spouse in order to maintain the status quo obtained during the marriage. The support may be temporary or permanent, depending on the facts of the marriage, and different rules apply to each.

The attorneys at CKLH Law can help you determine whether one party is in fact entitled to spousal support and how much you can expect the Court to order.

Temporary Spousal Support

In order to receive temporary support, a party must file a motion called a Request for Order for with the court.

The purpose of temporary spousal support is to maintain the status quo obtained during the marriage pending the dissolution. In ordering temporary spousal support, courts focus on the relative incomes of each party and the needs of the parties.

The court looks to answer these two questions with temporary support:

  1. How much support is needed to maintain the standard of living during marriage?
  2. How much can the higher income earner afford to pay?

The attorneys at CKLH can run your spousal support numbers so that you can better plan for your divorce.

Permanent Spousal Support

Permanent spousal support can be ordered in any dissolution case as part of a judgment that occurs at trial or upon final agreement of the parties.

Permanent spousal support cannot be ordered in an annulment case. This order stays in place until it stated end if any or modification by court order or agreement of the parties.

In long term marriages, permanent support will be ordered “until death, remarriage or further order of the court”.

Unlike temporary support, a court must consider the factors laid out in Family Code 4320 when determining whether to order or deny permanent spousal support. Family Code section 4320 provides that in determining a fair spousal support order, the court must consider the extent to which each party is able to maintain their standard of living established during the marriage by examining a variety of aspects.

Standard of Living Aspects

  • The marketable skills of the supported party
  • The particular job market for those skills
  • The time and expenses required for obtaining the appropriate training and education
  • The possible need for acquiring new education or skills
  • The extent to which the supported party’s current or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment spurred by the need to devote time to domestic duties
  • The extent to which the supported party may have contributed to the career, training or education of the supporting party
  • The ability to pay spousal support
  • The needs of the parties based on the standard of living established
  • The obligations and assets of each party
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment
  • The age and health of the parties
  • Any documented evidence of domestic violence between the parties or perpetrated by either party against either party’s child
  • The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party
  • The balance of the hardships to each party
  • The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period
  • And any other factors the court determines to be just and equitable

Reach Out Today

Cottle Keen Lopiccolo &
Heyde, LLP 254 S. Glassell
Orange, CA 92866

(714) 997-7870

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